Monday, February 26, 2007

Raketu - Sody Pop is Coming


My theory on advertising is simple. Put sexy girls in your ads. Everyone pays attention to hot chicks, even other hot chicks.

pencil layouts:











On this one, I drew all the mouth positions on paper. I hadn't figured out idea of drawing the mouths in Flash yet. Jessy Borutski told me she draws her keys on paper, then does her breakdowns and inks in Flash-so then I tried it for the George cartoon.

Lip sync:









After I draw my keys, Marc puts them in Flash and I give them to Kristen who does a rough animation. Then she and I go over her pencil tests and make some notes and tweaks.

pencil test by Kristen McCormick:

(Download Quicktime 7 here)



Model Sheet inked by Chad Coyle: (He says the Velvet Underground is better than the Beatles-but I give him work anyway 'cause he is a talented little #@*$%X!!!)



Color keyed by John: I tried some fancy ass crap where not all the borders had outlines and it drove them nuts at Copernicus.





I send the flash files with the pencil tests to my pals at Copernicus, who then ink, paint and animate them. Andrew animated it.

Copernicus clean-ups:









Copernicus animation:

(Download Quicktime 7 here)


Katie Rice is the voice of Sody and Kali is the voice of Raketeena. They are a couple of real live wires.


Wait'll you see the fancy animation Kristen did of the instant message windows. You're gonna wish that all Instant messages worked like that!

IM box:



All the new cartoons should debut on Wednesday the 28 of February at Raketu's site.
I'll let you know when it's for sure up and running.

Raketu has been constantly adding new features too, so download it and start using it! George and his friends will explain some of the coolest features to you!

Not only is it fun and cheap, but maybe you'll be getting more cartoons once it's a big hit!

Let me know if you think we should give Sody her own starring series of cartoons.



BTW,

Kali asked me to sketch a drawing of Sody for her so she could paint it. I dashed one out and she painted it up and is now selling it on ebay to pay for her class in terrorism at Otis Art Institute!

So if you want a nice hand painted cartoon picture to hang in your boudoir, you better get over there now and start bidding!


48 comments:

Roberto González said...

Should I see part of the animation here? Cause it's not working for me.

It's looking really great anyway.

Piotr said...

wow great looking stuff! i've learned so much just by looking at the roughs! wow, im so inspired thanks john!

David King said...

I love going thru the Quicktime files a frame at a time to look at the mouth movements. Thanks for posting this stuff!

Jim said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alex said...

really nice, i especially like the palette.

John, you really push what can be done quality-wise with cartoon animation in Flash. (Probably because you're one of the few guys doing it who's actually an animator.)

I would love to know more about your techincal process (or from the guy who handles that.) Are you doing everything with motion tweens on cutouts of pieces of the characters, or is there some shape tweening going on too, like in the arms?

Marc Deckter said...

Hi Robert,

Should I see part of the animation here? Cause it's not working for me.

When you click on the frame that says "PLAY ME" a new window should pop up with the quicktime movie.

With Quicktime version 7.1.3 the movie should play.

(You can also click the right-mouse button on the "PLAY ME" image and select from the pulldown menu 'download linked file', instead of watching it in a new window.)

I hope this helps!

Sean Worsham said...

Congrats CHAD, holler if you're reading this man! He is extremely talented, I know this for a fact when we were both doing cleanups for an internship. Looking at his cleanup work for Sody sure shows he's come a looooooooonnnnngggg way since 6-7 years ago. Good job man!

Jennifer said...

Wow, these are really nice! I like the painting, too. I'm going to check to see if they have a latest patch of the SW - hopefully with the launch of your ads, they have changed the application GUI to match the slickness of your animation.

BTW, where did you get those fabulous jeans? Are they designer? :D

Marc Deckter said...

Oops! Sorry I spelled your name wrong Roberto!

I wish I could edit my comments....

By the way, here's a link to Quicktime 7.

lastangelman said...

Jeez, who ever does the animation for those esurance commercials should hang their heads in shame. Your stuff is way way way sexier and attention-getting and everyone will know and use Raketu. Maybe even get a mention by this guy , who can't get enough of the esurance cartoon:
http://www.slate.com/id/2153173/?nav=navoa

Roberto González said...

Hi, Marck

Thanks, I downloaded it and I can watch it now!

So, I'm trying to learn something, but I find it a little difficult, sometimes I don't get the process and sometimes I don't know how to translate a line in the post.

Let me now if I have everything right: If I want to do an animation in flash first I should make some general drawings with the body poses, second I should draw the lip sync in other sheets and finally I sould render everything and colouring it in my computer?

I have done some really bad flash animation, drawing only one pose in paper and drawing all the lip sync in the computer. The result wasn't very exciting or neat. Just in case anybody is interested, it's the second post here:

http://elblogderg.blogspot.com/2006_12_01_archive.html


I should try to do something more decent in the future!

Anyway...Yeah, I think a Sody Pop cartoon series would be great! When you ask this are you talking about the Raketu webtoons or a television series? I think Sody hasn't got too many opportunities until now. She had very little role in The Goddamn George Liquor Show in flash and she didn't appear too much in the Spumco Comic Books, so I think it's about time to give her a bigger role.

akira said...

Kali, DON'T DO IT! STICK WITH ART CLASSES! terrorism is a lonely path and a thankless profession, and once you start down that path there's no turning back. You're a great artist. the world needs people like you, not martyrs for lost causes. maybe you can change/restore the world with your art much better than with a backpack bomb, vile of anthrax or nuclear suitcase bomb.

Dan! said...

Wow! That painting's amazing. That's one of the sexiest Sodys yet. I hope you do more posts on drawing cute girls in the future.

I'm looking forward to seeing more of her, Sody cartoons sound great.

Kent B said...

Hi, John - This looks extremely cool! - I think you've figured out a way to make animation really economically and retain the animator's touch in the work - Basically every drawing we see is an animator's extreme - Congratulations! I'm impressed!

Kali Fontecchio said...

"Kali, DON'T DO IT! STICK WITH ART CLASSES! terrorism is a lonely path and a thankless profession, and once you start down that path there's no turning back. You're a great artist. the world needs people like you, not martyrs for lost causes. maybe you can change/restore the world with your art much better than with a backpack bomb, vile of anthrax or nuclear suitcase bomb."


Haha, John was being funny, I think. No blowing up for me!

Rodrigo said...

Copernicus kicks so much ass. I haven't seen flash that emulated traditional animation as well as they do.

Oh, and call me alow, but I just realized where you got the name Sody. She was married to your favorite cartoon director.

Julián höek said...

hi john. i have a question about how the guys at copernicus work. you said they ink your drawings in flash. they do it with a digital tablet, with the mouse or with real ink and then vectorize it in flash?
thanks

Joel Bryan said...

Yeah, I'd be all for a Sody Pop cartoon. I probably wouldn't get to see it because I live in Japan... but if my vote counts for anything and helps get others a Sody Pop cartoon that THEY can see, then I vote yes for Sody Pop.

I love looking at these step-by-step posts. I always learn a lot from them.

The Mighty Robolizard said...

Ah, the colors. So wonderful... the 'sexy' girls in these cartoons always look somewhat grotesque, which is nice.

Hey, I have an unrelated question, what on Earth is this--> http://spiderfan.org/comics/title/ren_stimpy.html

Oooh...

Rodrigo said...

Julian:

I've spoken to the Paul Rigg, and asked him how they do it, and from what he explained, is that they do their character animation, inking and coloring all in Flash. I'm willing to bet all my money that they DO use digital pens & tablets. There's no way you can control your line width so intuitively and precisely with a mouse.

After they do their main character animation in Flash, they export the frames to be composited in a program like After Effects or Shake. That way, they can get those nice painted backdrops without all that aliasing shit that happens with rasterized graphics in Flash. Compositing programs also give you the freedom to have some fancy shmancy camera effects.

Hope this helps.

JohnK said...

Hi Roberto

you can work in Flash anyway you want.

I found it easier to draw the key poses on paper and scan them inh.

Then I draw the mouths and extra poses and expressions directly in Flash.

Try different methods to see what works best for you.

I hope that was helpful...

abwinegar said...

Can't wait to see it.

I'm working on a few cartoons in Flash. I hope to have them up on my website next month. I thought I would try to do a variation of "Pie Pirates" myself as an experiment. To see if I can do it.

The last post has given me inspiration to make cartoons.

Great painting Kali, I hope I win.

Corey T. said...

Wow, I really love the animation John. Flash makes everything look smooth and quick. Can't wait till Wednesday. I also really like Kali's painting. I'm going to learn how to paint soon.

Josh "Just What the Doctor Ordered" Heisie said...

Awesome. The only thing that bothers me, is that the background color and her face are rather close in colors...and there isn't alot of contrast...just her hair and the stool. To me most of her blends in with the background.

But maybe that's just me. I'm mildly colorblind.

Tim said...

The animation looks great, I love how her mouth is practically going into convulsions, you can tell Sody's excited to tell us about Raketu.
I'm not exactly up to date with what you'll be doing at your new studio, but I hope you'll still make Flash Cartoons.

Ryan G. said...

Great poses John!

Cayen said...

Sody should have her own series

Tony C. said...

This is really fun stuff John. It's great that you are posting all the steps. I love seeing how the pencil test translates to the final.

More Sody Pop!

juvenile_cyle said...

I love it! It looks really great and I learned a lot from watching it. And definitely give Sody her own cartoon! That would be amazing!

Sketch said...

Nice work, I love pencil tests.

William said...

Thanks for the insight into the production process!

A Sody cartoon would be great, I'm sure, but can't really openly voice my support of it as I don't have any idea of who she is as a character. She seems to be just to be 'a sexy girl'. If we had some ideas as to what kind of scenarios you were plannning(hint hint)...

...or if she lived with George Liquor...

stiff said...

The secondary movements, anticipation, and transitions between poses on the Copernicus animation are fantastic--stuff that usually gets ignored in Flash animation. Those folks at Copernicus really know what they're doing!

abwinegar said...

Sody should have her own show.

I posted a Lip Sync I done as a test. Come by and take a look.

It's here:

http://fairygodmonkey.com/blog/

applepwnz said...

Wow, another great post! I love seeing what goes in to making a commercial like this, Raketu will be huge if you keep up this great work! The only thing that I don't like is that it seems like the finished product still looks a bit "flashy" (no pun intended) perhaps it's just impossible to make a flash animation look like it's drawn with paper and cels (although yours always do come the closest) Oh, and I'd LOVE to see a Sody cartoon! You'd definetely have to keep George in it though.

Semicolon said...

Maybe I've watched too many Flash animations, but I really don't like all the in-between fake animation, it reveals all the seperate components of the character and replaces all the cartoony elasticity with computery robotics.

Mr. Semaj said...

My theory on advertising is simple. Put sexy girls in your ads. Everyone pays attention to hot chicks, even other hot chicks.

Hell yeah!

Wait'll you see the fancy animation Kristen did of the instant message windows. You're gonna wish that all Instant messages worked like that!

I did think about doing a cartoon for a while that relied heavily on online interraction. This could be a useful example.

Let me know if you think we should give Sody her own starring series of cartoons.

Yes, please!

The Jerk said...

i love the sync on this, when i watched it slowed down, i could practically read her lips! it's certainly a tribute to all involved that a viewer can guess at what is being said even without audio! this looks great!

Rodrigo said...

Maybe I've watched too many Flash animations, but I really don't like all the in-between fake animation, it reveals all the seperate components of the character and replaces all the cartoony elasticity with computery robotics.

Yeah man, I totally concur. Any sort of excessive tweening, and the "realism" is broken. I ABHORR it when adolescent users on Newgrounds will say things like, "AWSUM AMINATION!" to a cartoon that uses a single view of the character that is entirely tweened. This generation is blind.

Copernicus studios does a better job of hiding the lack of in betweens. Obviously, you can't beat the results of hard work, but they are better than most.

Marcelo Souza said...

I think the rough animation works better, the flash guys didn't translate John's acting and timing correctly, there's something weird and unnatural going on there. This is a small scene and wouldn't take no time at all inbetweening by hand, actually I don't understand why people are so into "NOT" drawings these days.

dave said...

"Maybe I've watched too many Flash animations, but I really don't like all the in-between fake animation, it reveals all the seperate components of the character and replaces all the cartoony elasticity with computery robotics."


...that is something thats indicative of any animation that you allow a computer to do.. 2d or 3d. i work in 3d, but ill create my own poses on 2's up to 8's depending on how fast the action is. computers arent animators.

john i love the raketu stuff! is it just me or did you animate a lock of hair reacting and pointing to sody's nipples? hilarious!!

Artisticulated said...

Been lurking for a month. Great resource! Currently out of the art biz for now.

Not up on Flash v Cel very much, but I have one criticism of this spot; her dead eyes. No lids, no pupils, no squinting, only extremes for brow movement. Giving her cheek so much elasticity really sets off the stillness of her eyes. I enjoy her excitement, but I feel like she's staring into space rather than talking to me. Her rear end is more expressive than her eyes.

This is probably a budget issue, and I'm happy to be edumatized over the compromises necessary, but I was taught that life was conveyed through the eyes and it's usually my starting point.

Minini said...

What a brilliant way to do. The use of both traditionnal and flash animation. It's the perfect mix between elegance and effectiveness.

reane nadina said...

ah nice one i like this stuff :D.. really cute and have appealing in animation
and the mouth is unusual lip-sync great job john :D

FLAMINGPINECONE said...

I am going to have to weight in on th e Velvet Underground VS Beatles debate and say I like Velvet Underground more.


Please don't hate me.

Also, is Sody supposed to be semi transparent?

Mr. Ed said...

Hey John!
Gee, lemmee think, more animations with hot girls, hmmmm, do you have to ask??

I would only demand that Katie be a principal in the girl design and posing. Her work on "Close but no Cigar" was amazing, you have discovered a treasure, John.
Katie must be in on it!!
Sody deserves it!!

Thanks again for showing the inner workings of your art and passion. I have been an animation fan for years, but you have renewed my hope in the art.
Keep up the blog, and your standards.

david gemmill said...

i don't mean to be a ballbuster, but the volume of sody's head is all over the place. i guess if you compare her profile with the next head it just look like it grew waaay too much. I would tell copernicus to scale up that first profile head. its easy, its flash.

Smashing said...

you should turn sody into an adult entertainment cartoon character. seriously. big money.

david gemmill said...

"should I study the Sody cartoon you did, where she has a small realistic proportioned head?"


ahahha i am not talking about the proportions of sody, i am talking about the context of the scene, it seems that her head in profile is smaller than when she turns towards the camera(if you compare the head poses in the middle to the first profile you will see a significant difference), i dunno if that was for an effect to make it look like she was sticking her head into the camera, or just the fact the volumes are a bit off. I guess its just nitpicking and the first thing i noticed when watching it... but if i was the only person that noticed i guess its not a problem.